Mardon Skipper (Polites mardon [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 7/8 - 1 inch (2.2 - 2.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male is dark brown with reddish-orange spots; forewing has a short black stigma. Female is darker with spots lighter and more apparent. Underside is similar to upperside.
Life history: Males perch to wait for receptive females. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One brood from May-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Grasses.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Grasslands at low elevations in the Cascades; the alpine, especially on serpentine soil.
Range: Local and uncommon in western Washington, western Oregon, and northwestern California.
Conservation: All populations should be conserved wherever they are found.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled globally because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences), or because of other factors demonstrably making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range. (Endangered throughout its range).
Management needs: None reported.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Hinchliff, J. 1996. The Distribution of the Butterflies of Washington. Evergreen Aurelians. Oregon State University Bookstore, Corvallis. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Pyle, R.M. 1974. Watching Washington Butterflies. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Wash. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.